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The Independent Online

Doncaster Rovers' Ian Measham, who was told he might never play again after breaking his neck during a game at Torquay 14 months ago, has made a successful return to competitive action. The 30-year-old former Huddersfield and Burnley defender, who underwent a bone graft operation and had a metal plate inserted, played a reserve-team fixture on Thursday.

Billy Ayre, the former Blackpool, Scarborough and Halifax Town manager, has been appointed manager of the GM Vauxhall Conference club, Southport. He takes over from the former Liverpool player Brian Kettle, who resigned last month.

The Mexican club, America, have sacked their Dutch-born coach, Leo Beenhakker, despite his success in taking the side to the top of the league with 78 goals scored in 31 matches. Beenhakker, the former coach of the Dutch national team and Real Madrid, told reporters he had no idea why he had been fired.

The French club, Strasbourg, yesterday sacked their coach, Daniel Jeandupeux, five days before they play Metz in the French Cup semi-finals. He had apparently antagonised almost all the playing staff with critical comments to the media.